Copper theft are on the rise and they are stealing from everyone in the process

Vandals, sets their eyes on transformers such as this for its copper components, that also disrupts telecommunication supply within the affected area. - Sarawak Energy

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KUCHING: Sarawak Energy reports 13 vandalised property cases in Bintulu alone over the past two months.

Sarawak Energy Vice President for Distribution, Siti Aisah Adenan said thieves are getting more daring, vandalising electrical equipment in broad daylight especially at secluded areas.

“Recent cases show that copper theft involving electrical transformers are on the rise where they ransacked the equipment for the transformer’s core, copper conductors and underground cable,” said Siti Aisah.

Over the past two months in Bintulu, transformers along the Bintulu-Miri coastal road, Bakun Road, and also in Sebauh and Tatau areas are canibalised for its copper component, incurring a cost of RM390,000 to replace.

Similar trend is also happening in Miri with the latest incident happened a day before Gawai, causing supply interruption to Batu Niah and Bekenu, while the other disrupted supply to customers within the Kuala Baram area and the street lightings along Kuala Baram road to the Asean Bridge.

The two recent incidents in Miri is estimated to have incurred a maintenance cost of RM120,000.

“The public must realise that these vandals are also stealing electricity from Sarawakians who pay for the services. Taking away copper components from these transformers not only disrupt electricity supply our customers, it also disrupts telecommunication services in the state,” said Siti Aisah.

There are 429 cases of copper theft recorded since 2015 and Sarawak Energy incurred more than RM5.2 million to replace the cannibalised equippment.

While security and monitoring efforts are heightened, Sarawak Energy continues to seek the cooperation of members of the public to report incidents of copper theft or suspicious activities around its facilities.

Concerned citizens may contact Sarawak Energy via its 24-hour call centre at 1-300- 88-3111. Reports can also be logged into Sarawak Energy’s “SEB Cares” Mobile App, available for download at Apple’s App Store for iOS and Google’s Play. –